Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of Matthew
A much-overlooked aspect of the Gospel of Matthew is the theme of heaven and earth. Rather than being a reverential circumlocution for God, 'heaven' in Matthew is part of a highly developed discourse of heaven and earth language. Matthew's idiolectic way of using heaven language consists of four aspects: 1) a distinction in meaning between singular and plural forms of "ouranos"; 2) frequent use of the heaven and earth word pair; 3) regular reference to the Father in heaven; and 4) the recurrent use of the Matthean expression, kingdom of heaven. This book examines the historical precedents for each of these aspects and shows in Matthew how they serve one overriding theological purpose: to highlight the tension that currently exists between heaven and earth or God and humanity, while looking forward to its eschatological resolution.
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└nd apocalyptic Apocrypha Aramaic argued argument └rst Biblical chapter Christian Christology connection context cosmological Dalman Daniel Davies and Allison Dead Sea Scrolls dif└cult disciples discussion distinction divine dualism earth contrast earth pair earth theme earthly realm emphasize Enoch eschatological example Father in heaven fatherhood Genesis God’s kingdom Gospel of Matthew Greek Gundry Hagner heaven and earth heaven in Matthew heaven language heavenly Father Hebrew idiolectic important in┴uence instances Jesus Jewish Judaism king kingdom of God kingdom of heaven literary Lord’s Prayer Luke Macc Maccabees Matt Matthean merismatic metonym Mishnah multiple heavens observed occurrences parallel pattern phrase plural forms Pseudepigrapha Qumran rabbinic literature re┴ects reference reverential circumlocution Schnackenburg scholars Second Temple literature Semitic Septuagint Sermon signi└cance singular and plural singular forms speci└c Targums Testament Testament of Abraham texts thematic theme of heaven theological tradition translation understanding usage verse word pair